Part 1: What is specialty coffee?
Specialty vs Commodity
- Not a standard flavor (Single origin > Blend)
- Variety > Uniformity
- A fascination with coffee as a fruit
- Strict definition: A coffee that scores more than 80 on the cupping form
Arabica vs Robusta
Processing: Washed, dry and honey
- Identifying: Light, medium, dark
- Underdevelopment: Why it occurs
Cupping + the cupping Form
- Flavor wheel
- A note on the avant-garde in both coffee and music
Part 2: Brewing
Beans & Regions
- Most specialty coffee comes from either typica or bourbon. One major exception is Ethiopian heirloom.
- Ethiopian Heirloom: Lemon, blueberry, peach, bergamot
- Kenyan Sl 28+34: Apple, raspberry, umami
- Latin American: Sweet, clean: Fruits, berries,
- Indonesia: Wet hulling: Earthy, woody, mushroomy
- Brazil: Pulped Natural: Chocolate, nuts, round, lack of acidity
- Southeast Asia: Chocolate, nuts, hints of lemon. Catimor influence is a drawback. Often the best coffee is natural processed or honey.
- Panama Geisha: An Ethiopian coffee grown in Panama
Other things that influence flavor
- 1:15 – 1:18 typical brew ratio
- Espresso 1:2 / 1:3 (depending on country and style – ristretto/espresso)
- Note: That with espresso ratio refers to the liquid after the shot is pulled, while brew ratio refers to the relation between bean and water before brew when we’re talking French press, drip etc.
- Tip: Always use a scale. It’s very difficult to eyeball
- How much you extract depends on several variables: Grind fineness, temperature of the water, contact time, pressure.
- Different compounds extract at different rates.
- Best practice: 18-22%
- But all coffees are different – adjust accordingly
Methods, techniques, recipes
- We focus on pour over with the Hario V60. There are many different recipes and schools of thought.
- The 4:6 method (invented by Tetsu Kasuya) works well with cheaper grinders.
What you need
- (must not be too hard or too soft. Ideally, between 50-100 TDS. Try different bottled waters, experiment with RO water + mineral mix, or Brita Pitcher)
- Brewing device (+ filter): Always use white filters. Go for a filter with a rough texture if possible.
- Gooseneck Kettle
Brew in a server, swirl and aerate, drink from glass or ceramic cup at an appropriate temperature.